Our bodies are thought to produce endocannabinoids by the billions every day. “We always thought the ‘runner’s high’ was due to the release of dopamine and endorphins. But now we know the euphoria is also from an endocannabinoid called anandamide,” its name derived from the Sanskrit word for bliss, says Joseph Maroon, MD, clinical professor and vice chairman of neurosurgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. We produce these natural chemicals all day, but they fade quickly because enzymes pop up to destroy them. That’s where CBD comes in: By blocking these enzymes, CBD allows the beneficial compounds to linger.

Lisa Hamilton, a jeweler and doula in Brooklyn, NY, knows about the side effects. She recently tried CBD for the shoulder pain that plagued her five years after an accident. Her doctor certified that she was in chronic pain, which under New York State law allowed her to buy from a state dispensary. One Friday, she swallowed two 10-mg capsules, the amount recommended at the dispensary, then took another two on Saturday. “By Sunday, it felt like I’d gotten hit by a truck. Every muscle and joint ached,” Hamilton says. She cut back to one pill a day the following week, but still felt hungover. She stopped after that. 

Some CBD manufacturers have come under government scrutiny for wild, indefensible claims, such that CBD is a cure-all for cancer, which it is not. We need more research but CBD may be prove to be an option for managing anxiety, insomnia, and chronic pain. Without sufficient high-quality evidence in human studies we can’t pinpoint effective doses, and because CBD is currently is mostly available as an unregulated supplement, it’s difficult to know exactly what you are getting. If you decide to try CBD, talk with your doctor — if for no other reason than to make sure it won’t affect other medications you are taking.

So, what is the best way to use CBD oil? CBD comes in a variety of forms, such as oil, tincture, oil for vaping, sublingual spray, edibles, and topical creams, so you can choose the method that is most suitable for your use. The main idea behind all the methods of using CBD is to make sure that this cannabinoid ends up in your system in an easy manner, producing the results you want. But when it comes to choosing the right method, it depends very much on the optimal dose in your case, the results you wish to achieve, and how long you want its effects to last. So, there isn’t a general rule when it comes to using CBD products.


CBD can be applied to the skin both as a cream and as a concentrate or tincture. When you apply CBD Concentrate to the skin, you do not need to apply as much as the cream because of the higher concentration of CBD. Due to its gluey texture, it will adhere very well to the skin and if the CBD oil has a dark color, it will give a stain. Just leave it on as long as possible. If necessary, you can easily remove the remaining concentrate with edible oil from the skin.
Research suggests that CBD has anti-inflammatory benefits when applied externally. (2)  The antioxidant properties of CBD may also protect your skin from the free radical damage that leads to pigmentation, wrinkles, and signs of aging. (3) Topical application may also be beneficial for some skin conditions, like pimples and dryness, and may provide localized relief from muscle soreness and joint pain.
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